2019 Fiesta Bowl Mahomet-Seymour Marching Bulldogs

The Marching Bulldogs traveled to Phoenix to represent Mahomet-Seymour High School in the Fiesta Bowl parade.

PHOENIX — The Marching Bulldogs took top honors for their participation in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28.

Michael Stevens, director of bands for Mahomet-Seymour High School, said the Bulldogs placed first out of eight bands in the Fiesta Bowl parade, receiving a score of 95 out of 100 from the three judges of the event.

“We did very well,” he said.

The 200 students who participate in band traveled to Arizona on Dec. 26 and returned Dec. 31. Although Stevens had predicted sunny and warm conditions for the trip, it didn’t turn out that way — but that didn’t stop the musicians from having plenty of fun in addition to the work of putting on an award-winning show.

“They loved it. Everybody had a great time,” Stevens said. “The only drawback was it was kind of cold out there, and rainy.”

Besides the competition, the students had time for activities including horseback riding, off-roading in Jeeps, attending a rodeo and touring the Musical Instrument Museum.

“We went to some really cool places,” Stevens said, noting the teens didn’t miss much time in the swimming pool, either, despite the less-than-ideal weather.

“I have a great group,” he said. “We prepared for about a month and a half and did early mornings in the gym. At the time it doesn’t seem like it’s a lot of fun … but when you put it in practice … now you’ve got that reward.

“The kids couldn’t have been better. I think they really enjoyed their time out there.”